I paint for the joy of it, so when it starts to feel like a chore, it is time for something to change. Today the painting (first photo) seemed to stare back at me with the yellow almost accusing me of slovenliness. I tried to identify any spots that I liked and would try to keep, at least for the present, with the full intent of covering over the rest of it. As time progressed, the painting did not. The work was sliding backward. I stepped back and said, okay, you can throw this canvas away at the end. Just try to get to an end...a place where you think you can go no further. With that in mind, I rotated the canvas and tried some new colors. I finally quit (second photo) at a point where I knew I just wasn't making progress.
I told myself that I was going to paint an image of something rather than an abstract, but when I got my paints on the palette, that is not what got started. I spent a bit of time working on structures, then the color took over. Here is the status after the first day, but I guarantee that the end product will look nothing like this. Each day is too different and there are so many things that affect an abstract. When painting a bowl of roses, for example, you have a photo, a model, or perhaps just a clear mental image as the guide. With abstracts, the principal driver is mood, which can be affected by so much—personal events, the weather, time of day, anything.
My sound editor has now completed 16 chapters, which is 149 pages out of a total of 220. I redid sentences that I flubbed today on the 3 latest chapters. If only I could hear myself through headphones (which I can't due to my hearing aids), I'd probably recognize many of the problems when I am recording. I am eager to be finished, of course, but will somewhat miss working on something or other related to this book. It has been a very long haul!
This one took me some time, but it was easier than most to find my way in it. I thought that it was going to have more red in it, and it fought me the whole way. When I finally succumbed to the will of the colors, the path forward was easier. (I got a little bit of my way about it by scraping circles to reveal small remnants of the earlier attempts.) I ultimately know that if I were less cerebral about the hues, it would be a smoother process, but I don't think that will ever become the norm. Anyway, I am pleased to present my newest:
Doing some re-recording. Because I'm a novice at recording (although not at narrating), I have struggled with staying the correct distance from the mic and controlling the level of my voice and energy from my diaphragm. Below is a shot of the difference it makes, but I don't realize it at the time I'm doing it. It is so interesting to learn a new art, although to my sound editor, it is pretty much a science.
I finished the first draft of the audio version of Filming An Indie and it is now in the hands of my sound editor. It took me only about 20 hours total to finish it once I got started , but it had to be in segments due to my voice getting raspy after only a couple of hours.
I am eager to get back to painting. I want first to finish the reddish piece that I already started, but also have a grey work in mind.
I mentioned earlier that I was embarking on a project to record an audio version of my book, Filming An Indie: A Diary of Making Revenge In Kind. The learning curve has been difficult, but not insurmountable. I had to study what kind of equipment to buy (mic, boom, pop filter, sound isolation) and take an online course (as well as watch YouTubes) on GarageBand for podcasts (the nearest instruction related to audiobook recording). After all that, I had a lot of false starts, but the biggest hurdle has actually been my deafness. I cannot record with headphones (there is feedback from my hearing aids and my hearing is too bad anyway) and cannot hear the result well enough to know where the mistakes are. So I've hired an excellent sound editor to help me. It takes me about an hour per chapter to prepare and record; there are 20+ chapters. It has been fun, but physically challenging in a new way. I am used to getting physically tired from exertion in the garden or whatever. This activity, however, tires my voice. It changes my pitch and messes with the clarity of speech. So I can't do more than about 3 chapters before things begin to go south on me.
It has been about a year since I published the book. Reading it aloud makes me wish I could fix a lot of things, especially typos and some repetition, but that is water under the bridge. Time to move on. But I have been pleased that I still think the book is worthy.
Below is a photo of my mic setup. The kitty bed is usually occupied by a sleeping cat named Kala. She sometimes awakens and messes up the recording, so I start over. I don't mind. I like her presence.
I had some news today that pleases me a lot—my painting "Aside the Wharf" was juried into the Texas & Neighbors Annual Art Exhibit. That competition is well-respected and the show is at the gorgeous Irving Arts Center. The juror is Andrea Karnes, Curator for the Fort Worth Modern Museum. There were only 82 pieces accepted from all media (sculpture, photography, watercolor, etc.).
Update: Here is an image of the accepted piece. I neglected to post it before.
I think a painting should have a name. (A gallery that once represented me argued to the contrary and wouldn't exhibit the names of my works, which didn't please me!) But the name of my artwork isn't usually evident during the creation; it emerges. In the case of the painting shown below, it took a few days to let it come. I didn't search for the name, it arrived without fanfare. It is "Petrichor"—the smell of earth as rain falls after a dry spell. "Petra" means rock in Greek and "ichor" is the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology. The name carries both strength and subtlety to me, so I am well pleased that the painting shared this lovely name with me.